Flyers and Devils clash in Jersey
The Flyers may have been guilty of looking past their previous opponent.
Coming off a rare loss to one Atlantic Division rival, Philadelphia aims to rebound this afternoon against the hosting New Jersey Devils.
The Flyers had won three of four prior to Thursday night's meeting with the Islanders, a club that Philadelphia had bested in 13 straight home games and in 23 of the previous 24 encounters overall.
However, the Flyers fell behind by three goals by the midway portion of the third period and dropped a 4-1 decision. Matt Read scored Philadelphia's lone goal, his NHL rookie-leading 14th of the season.
"There are no easy wins in the NHL, you have to come ready to play every night," said Read. "They're a good team over there and are fighting for wins, just like the rest of us."
Fellow rookie Sean Couturier failed to score for the first time in six games, but did log an assist to keep his point streak going. The Flyers remained four points back of the Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Sergei Bobrovsky, facing a number of breakaways, allowed three goals on 26 shots in the loss.
"We left him (Bobrovsky) out to dry too many times," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said.
Laviolette could go back to Ilya Bryzgalov in net today given that he posted his one and only shutout so far this season at New Jersey back on Oct. 8, making 20 saves in a 3-0 win. Bobrovsky got the call in a 4-3 shootout loss at home to the Devils on Nov. 3, New Jersey's third victory in its past four games versus Philadelphia.
The Devils face their second straight tough opponent after dropping a 4-1 decision to the visiting Bruins on Thursday. Petr Sykora scored in the first period, but Boston tallied four times in the third period.
Patrik Elias extended his point streak to seven games in a row (4 goals, 7 assists) and Martin Brodeur made 21 saves.
"It was disappointing. I thought we played a great hockey game. ... Everything just fell apart for us," Brodeur said.
New Jersey had a three-game win streak end and is seventh in the East and four points back of Philadelphia.
The Devils have split the first two of a six-game homestand and will be without defenseman Henrik Tallinder for the next 6-to-8 weeks because of a blood clot in his lower left leg.